Guess What I Pulled Out Of Someone's Foot!

Perception is everything! I love one patients come into my Houston, Texas, Podiatry clinic with the full diagnosis and treatment plan decided because their internet research. I've had corns that were warts, warts that were, warts that were broken bones, broken bones that were sprains and lots of spurs that were foreign object embedded in the foot.

People assume that because they keep a clean house that there are no dangers lurking. Take one patient who came in with a splinter that she couldn't get out. There was definitely a hole where a splinter could have entered and x-rays showed some soft tissue changes. What did I pull out of her foot? A toothpick! A WHOLE toothpick! She was flabbergasted! Needless to say she was a bit grossed out, but felt much better.

I've also pull out many, many thick wiry hairs from the foot. Pet hairs, especially short-haired dogs like black labs, have hairs like wires.  You'd be amazed how often they can get into a bare foot and cause a full, painful foreign body reaction to form. They're also tough to get out, since they cut and snap easily.  Be careful when you brush your pup!

These are extraordinary examples.  Mostly I'll find a wood splinter or glass sliver.  Most of the time I can get it out in the office but if it is particularly deep, we'll need to go to the operating room. If you step on something, unless it's easily accessible, you must come in to get it checked.  Sometimes a tetanus shot is necessary and antibiotics may be prescribed.  For diabetics, a foreign body is truly a medical emergency, since it can easily become infected.

It is so easy to write a splinter off as nothing more than a nuisance, but if it gets more painful with time, it is a sound idea to give the office a call.  We'll get you in immediately!
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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